Portrait of Catriona Gilmore
Catriona, can you start by describing your Instagram account “nuança_art” in three words?
Refreshing, aspirational, inspirational
Could you tell me more about yourself and your connection with the art industry ?
I have been attracted to art for as long as I remember. Drawing was the first thing I felt good at, and, encouraged by supportive teachers at school, went on to do an art foundation course at the Leeds College of Art (alma mater to Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore).
This gave me incredible insight into contemporary practice, but I felt like I was missing some of the fundamentals of art history. So, I went on to do a degree in History of Art and French at the University of Leeds, which included an internship at the Château de Troussay in the Loire, France. Both while working with a varied collection at the château and while studying, I was drawn to stories of collecting – which is what led me to create my Instagram account Nuança Art.
Since graduating, I have worked in marketing in cultural tourism and for Collectible, the fair for 21st Century design, and completed a marketing short course at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
I really love the short and simple descriptions you use in your Instagram posts. It makes art history and art advisory accessible to everyone. Could you tell me a little bit more about this project?
Thank you – I certainly try to not to overwhelm the viewer with text, just providing enough to allow them to form a better sense of the work.
It started as a way to encourage collecting, giving tips and providing inspiration or background – both in terms of art history and what to collect now. In turn, I am able to support artists and designers by sharing their work on my platform and encourage people to create beautiful environments.
To explain the name, it means ‘nuance’ in the regional French language of Occitan. I chose it to reflect the different colours or layers of meaning you find in a work of art. It also suggests that as an advisor I am aware of the subtleties in a collector's tastes, personality or requirements.
The word "collecting" art can be scary. The collection of works of art is often associated with wealth and something sacred. Yet this idea is completely wrong. Today, thanks to digital technology and price transparency, it is possible to find original works of art by young artists at very affordable prices, from € 200 for example. What advice would you give to people who would like to buy an artwork for the first time? How would you describe the value that a work of art can give them?
Yes, ‘collector’ is a loaded term which can be intimidating, or give people a sense of imposter syndrome – which it shouldn’t! Everyone should feel like they can own art, and there are so many benefits to doing so. It’s amazing that there are ever more ways to buy art affordably, but it still needs to be a considered purchase. For someone looking to buy art, I would firstly recommend visiting as many art galleries and museums as possible to figure out tastes: which subjects, movements, colours, materials appeal the most.
Then, take a logical approach – create lists, and then shortlists, of works, asking questions like “will I still like this in 5 years’ time?”, or “will I still identify with it?” to make sure it is something that will be enjoyed over time. In the current situation, spending time on Instagram, saving artworks and viewing IG Live conversations with artists can be a great way of doing this.
Above all though, the work needs to be something to love, that you don’t tire of contemplating, that can make you think differently about something. Art has a special ability to do this, and that can be massively beneficial for mental health and creativity.
Art Sónia Barreiro
1.Flowerbed on the streets, 2020, oil on canvas, 18x24 cm
2.Window, 2020, oil on canvas, 18x24 cm
3.Entrance, 2020, oil on canvas, 18x24 cm
4.Blue flags, 2020, oil on canvas, 18x24 cm
By the way, do you buy art?
Yes, I certainly try to practice what I preach and support artists! Living in Leeds was great as there were often print fairs put on by groups of emerging artists – as well as the degree shows, of course. I take a similar approach to design too and try to support young designers and ceramicists too. I have a small collection with my eyes on a few more pieces…
In addition to your desire to make art accessible to everyone, you also empower women in arts. It’s a very popular subject these days. The statistics are striking, we really realize that women are under-represented in this industry. Can you name three women in the art industry that you admire? For example, two living artists, and a professional woman in the art.
I am particularly excited to see what Georgia Beaumont, who works under the name Baby G, does next. She has a very unique visual language which she translates into her paintings to make really dynamic work. She also paints chairs with her signature motifs which are gorgeous!
I also admire Sónia Barreiro’s work; her paintings have a sense of peace and quietness to them that I appreciate, and I find her colour choices really fresh and modern.
As for an art world professional, I really admire Amélie du Chalard of Amèlie Maison d’Art, a gallery and advisory service offering a stunning selection of contemporary abstract art. In addition to their clever ‘Discover’ process for giving advice to clients, her website is filled with photos of her apartment displaying the works in-situ. This really enables a potential buyer to visualise the work in living spaces. More recently, du Chalard has launched Ambroise, a selection of curated rental properties which place her artists’ works alongside rare objects and pieces of mid-century design. Having previously worked in the cultural tourism side of the art world, I am especially sensitive to the overall effect and viewing experience of seeing art in a particular place, so I am a big fan of this idea.
What are your plans for the future ?
Alongside sharing the work of more young artists, I am also looking forward to starting the Pompidou’s new MOOC ‘Elles font l’art’ looking at female artists of all genres from 1900 to today. I’d also love to be able to use my marketing and translating experience to help artists promote their work and guide them to the right collector.
Finally, what is your favourite work on Art From Future platform?
It’s too difficult to choose one, so I’ve chosen two!
I am particularly drawn to Anne Derivière’s ‘Tiny hope 4’ for its sense of movement and drama. I Iove the rich and vibrant colours, and generally am attracted to works with painterly qualities and texture – which we find in this piece.
I also really like the playful and mysterious aspects of Hélène Amrouche’s work – particularly the detailed and precise ‘Serpent (Snake)’ in the Chasseurs (Hunters) series, inspired by snakes’ recurring presence in myths.
Thank you so much Catriona